An AAVP-based solid-phase transducing matrix for transgene delivery: potential for translational applications

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A hybrid vector of adeno-associated virus and phage (termed AAVP) has been introduced as a platform for systemic ligand-directed delivery of transgenes to tumors over the past decade. A series of studies have evaluated the AAVP platform for potential theranostic or purely therapeutic applications in several tumor models. Sufficient ligand-directed tumor targeting consistently resulted in specific molecular-genetic imaging and/or anti-tumor responses to ‘suicide’ transgene delivery. However, efforts to optimize transduction efficiency are still ongoing. Here, we set out to expand the translational utility of AAVP by combining it with gold (Au) nanoparticles in order to generate a ‘transducing matrix’ for improved targeted gene delivery in solid phase. Targeted AAVP-based solid-phase transduction is superior to conventional transduction in soluble (aqueous) environments. This transducing matrix is stable and can be further modified with additional attributes (for example, magnetization) for targeted imaging and therapeutic gene delivery. Notably, it spontaneously assembles around cells in vitro to markedly enhance transduction capabilities compared with AAVP alone. This versatile nanoplatform may enable new applications of AAVP for transgene delivery in translational settings including, for example, efforts toward complex tissue patterning.

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